by Jack Adam Weber
When hope is used to reject reality, this is called denial, and denial usually has a darker side than the (fertile and therefore rejuvenating) darkness it initially resisted. When we accept the dark and difficult side of side of life, the experiences that are not rosy and peaceful, we give ourselves an opportunity to undergo transformation, a transformation that can deliver us in earnest to a new level of fulfillment, integration, and therefore healing.
When we find more inner fulfillment we are more able to do without the many sugary and unsustainable diversions and entertainments offered us by consumer culture, and even alternative movements. Being able to joyfully “do without” is an anti-consumerism, self-sovereignty model that is the save (what is left of) the planet paradigm. It is radical anarchy, a fundamental, deep-cutting protest that leaves us feeling better, not worse. It is truly sustainable rebellion, what I have called “inner activism.” And we get there by clearing our the storehouse of pain in our hearts via the alchemy of turning pain (especially evident in feeling anger without much grief) into beauty, which is to uncover real gold so we don’t have to settle for the addictions of fool’s gold.
If we cannot, or do not know how, to deal with difficulty, and especially the difficult emotions such as fear, helplessness, rage, remorse, and sadness, then we cannot undergo transformation for becoming comprehensively better people. We cannot grow in earnest because these emotions provide the vehicle for our embodying all aspects of the failing, dark side of challenging times. As Carl Jung said, “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Sans transformation we cannot convert darkness into light and we miss out on at least half of life.
When we cannot transform dark into light we tend to hug the light—the easy, positive, literal, and non-paradoxical light of pursuing entertainment, skin-deep kindness (slightly better than no kindness), easy pleasures and stimulation, religious and New-Age beliefs, and distractions of all kinds— a little too closely. This leads to superficial living, denial, excess consumerism, addiction, and a lack of soulfulness. We can hug this metaphorical light so closely that we make up literal stories about who we “truly are” and the essence of the universe, as if these beliefs could prevent the darkness from entering us, which it does in order to, as the great poet Rilke used to say, help us “truly be here.”
In truth, and in the saddest and most absurd twist of irony, when we make up stories about the light as the only truth, even perverting quantum physics to do so, we deny ourselves the opportunity for real, embodied change as well as productive, respectful, and meaningful relationships with others. The tendency to use the belief about light only to imagine and directly seek light, without embracing the dark inside us, is flawed. It is shallow thinking and shallow living that does not understand that more light beyond a modicum of doing good and efforting peace is most sustainably generated by embodying heartache in order to become more wholehearted, more comprehensively light. This way we do not shove the skeletons of painful experience into the recesses of our bodies. This, as I will discuss later, becomes the ugliest way to live and to diminish the gift of life. As I have proposed before, “Denying the beauty of paradox causes us to live out the endless suffering of its irony.”
A path of “rising above” creation and our own bodies, and therefore the Earth of which we are a carnal part, is what I will generally refer to as “transcendence.” Transcendence in this light works against transformation, as the former removes us from a rooted, integrated, and grounded care of material life and our own humanness. Embodied, transformative, somatic-centered change and integration is what we need to join with the Earth and save our species and countless others, for there is nothing more embodied and emblematic of “being here” than the Earth and her beautiful, carnal, natural expression.
Therefore, transformation always puts transcendence to the test of reality. We see transformation knocking everywhere now, especially in areas where lava, fires, floods, and drought are making themselves felt strongly. This is the transformative power of the Earth, and if we wish to join the Earth instead of perpetuate the centuries-old, unilaterally over-exercised, patriarchal paradigm of progress and plundering without replenishment, then we can take the Earth’s changes as an invitation for transformation and rejuvenation of ourselves on all levels. As Nature destroys and challenges our safety and hubris, we are given the opportunity for humility, awe, and valuable self-reflection for how we act towards Nature.
I am not famous
Like the sun or life after death.
If I were, would you pay more
Attention, listen more closely?
Heartache leads me to this earthly abode
Turned into the fallen leaves and soil
Well protected from the bright lights
That make anything or nothing something.
Thankfully, the world thinks
It has bought and re-sold all the secrets
So its real treasures remain protected
By fierce angels demanding we give up
All that permits our continued walking
Along ways hidden from poor reflection.
If this were the pointing finger
Would you have an easier time dying
To all you think is good and golden
So the moon might finally carry you
Through the fathoms you have ignored
For the idea of a shore?
Transformation that thrusts us into difficulty and all the emotions we would choose not to accept on a sunny day, is a taste of death. It is inherently scary, yet fear is not all bad. This dark, destructive power is part of the creation cycle; it’s just that we call it bad because we don’t like to feel growing pains, especially those with no relief in near sight. And honestly, they do feel “bad,” but feeling bad is the beginning of feeling deeply good, but we must deeply accept bad in order to feel deeply good. This proposition also gives us the opportunity to practice faith, a faith that by embodying what is now will give us the best chance and best results for the future—and to boot, give the Earth the best chance it can to keep its millions of ecosystems intact.
TRANSFORMATION vs. TRANSCENDENCE
Transformation is the way of the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine. Transcendence, as the imagination of a perfect or lofty place in the sky or ethers, denies death and is the emblem of the Great Father, or Divine Masculine. However, we can also understand transcendence as the new level of integration we embody after a challenging time. This was one of Carl Jung’s understandings of the word transcendence, one that he integrated with hands-on, embodied emotional work. This version of transcendence is a genuine rite of passage; it is the new sense of self and depth we embody on the other side of painful experience. Ultimately, if we can transcend (reach new integration) via transformation, we unite these two dynamics and archetypes.
A trick—or skillful discernment—is to know when to enact and honor the Father and when to honor the Mother. A good gauge to guide you is fear. Yes, fear. Fear is not the evil rap it gets in New Age and other disembodied “spiritual” circles. For when we deny fear, we also deny humility, valuable caution, and insight into our dark side, where we can begin to integrate its gifts into consciousness to share with one another and the Earth, thereby creating more balance and fertility.
Fear’s invitation to the dark is, I imagine, precisely why the light-obsessed New Age culture denies it so pervasively. And this turning from fear, and more specifically the turning away from pain, ironically enough, is what I see as a primary underlying cause for the destruction of the planet and our humanity, especially our capacity to deeply love. In other words, the obsessive and narrow-visioned positivity and literal light-seeking we see today is actually fear in disguise. Because it is a fear that is unconscious and denied, it remains infertile, incapable of transformation, and therefore lethal in the worst of ways, which is the collective projection by humanity of our denied darkness onto the beloved Earth, thereby killing us and causing hundreds of other species daily to go extinct. Again, denying the inner, paradoxical work of transformation (working through darkness for light) leads to real-life monsters bearing down on us from the outside, which outside is a reflection of our own inner denial of the dark, practically experienced as our dark, difficult emotions. When we ignore our dark emotions, we set in motion the ten-thousand evils.
If you fear facing something inside yourself, it is the Mother that calls you to pay attention and to show up in your depths for what might not be so pretty. If you discover at any time that there is no obvious way out of your predicament and you need guidance, pray and call on your embodied intuition to guide you. As the lava finds new tubes through which to travel to the liberating sea, so we can find unforeseen tributaries in our own psyches for freedom, for our own natures to expand. In this inner freedom and transformation we join the creative force of the Earth, of Nature, self-evident in the oozing, ever-expanding and discovering flow of lava. Allowing our hearts break-open unearths and exposes this new terrain in our psyches, giving us ground upon which we thought we could not tread, a way forward when we thought there was none. This is growth, this is transformation in earnest, and without the breaking of the heart as a figurative “ground” of our bodies and existence, we get no transformation. So, the breaking of our hearts is another way to understand life-affirming transformation.
Ideally, we honor both the archetype of the Mother and Father each day. We can increase light and love and goodness in many ways, and this is valuable as long as it is shared with others and infused back into the material reality (Mother) of our lives here. So, dance and sing and gather the nourishments of nature unto yourself so that you can face the world with more courage, vitality, kindness, power, meaning, purpose, and clarity. Then be of service by channeling it into healing creativity and sharing.
Earth changes that significantly transform the natural world and our place in it invoke the Great Mother in all of us—transformation. For this we must in some way die, hopefully only metaphorically. Yet, many Earth changes we now know are due to human-induced climate change. Those of us who have a pervasive fear of acknowledging our own part in destruction and suffering, may not want to acknowledge our responsibility for climate change. We therefore remain in an emotionally, fear-driven denial of ourselves and consensual reality. Some outrageous percentage of the population still doesn’t believe that humans are responsible for climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary (and not that science is always right, but in this case it sure seems to be). With such pervasive denial, therefore, much is also literally dying . . . as the lethal consequence of denying our own dark sides driven by a fear of feeling pain. Some have understood me to mean that we should create pain. This is not what I mean. I do mean that pain and difficulty, especially via loss or the fear of loss, are part of life, and when pain comes up in us, we should welcome and deal with it.
If we engage the Father and choose to rise above the work of transformation, this of course, is our choice. But I propose that this choice has lethal consequences for the Earth and humanity, as we see in the world today. In a gesture of compassion towards yourself, others, and the planet, I therefore invite you to inquire: do you fear facing what is because you are afraid of feeling pain? If so, whatever you flee towards might be a lie, contrived to offer you comfort from what you fear, from what actually is. This is how fear breeds denial and separation from grounded, practical reality—from our daily lives, from one another, from our environmental health, from our means of surviving and thriving. If we are honest, these practical things are what most of would say really matters to us at the end of the day. When we dissociate into transcendence before transformation, we lose what matters to us lose touch with our potential for compassionate action and power in the world.
WORKING WITH PAIN
Dissociating from the pain of life now is not unlike how we dissociated from our bodies as children because the pain of our upbringing was too much to bear and we did not have the resources or support at the time to make sense of and to heal it. Many bring this pattern of dissociation into adult life when faced with pain; it is often the pain pattern of denial we learned as children and have not yet dealt with in a way that brings integration and healing. To escape this pain, we invent religions, dissociative spiritual paths replete with magical thinking and then call it real because a guru or official said it was, as well as other forms of literal and unilateral light-seeking and imagined perfection (existing somewhere else on some other plane, of course, though some also report that they see nothing but good in the world).
As a brief aside, some have challenged me that if pain is ultimately good, why shouldn’t we just see pain as good? In a nutshell, my response is two-fold. One, to get to the good of pain, we cannot see it as good, we have to accept it as temporarily bad and painful, at face value, so to work with what hurts us. By doing so, it transforms of its own accord inside us. This is the way to feeling good about pain, not to see it as ultimately good and deny its sting. Second, as I alluded to earlier, I don’t advocate creating more pain in life and I try to minimize pain as much as I can. This highlights my position that we should not try to create unnecessary pain; life is full of it already, and a given. Again, when pain knocks and shows its face, we should not deny it. We should be wise and careful to try to avert it, but not to deny it when it presents to us.
When Earth changes, especially those induced or exacerbated by human agency, cause us to come face to face with pain, death, and their concomitant emotional and spiritual challenges, we have the opportunity to face both fears and make crucial inner and outer progress. In this vein, all current challenges and pain become not obstacles to freedom, but paths into healing the present as well as our treasure chest of childhood traumas. When we engage this inner-outer healing, we start landing in the seat of our bodies, of our “souls” as it were, through which we can engage more effectively in the world, a world that needs our passionate participation. The prospect of inner change is especially poignant for our times because if we cannot ultimately save our biosphere, we can right now begin to change our inner, psychic terrain and save our psycho-spiritual selves.
To stay connected to this world in earnest and most efficiently, I have found it necessary to appreciate the light as well as the dark. Embracing the dark does not mean that we are negative, hopeless, pessimistic, or in any way divested from what makes life worth the living. In fact, just the opposite is true. By embracing what is real—which includes what is painful and heartbreaking— in order to make sense of it, learn intellectually and emotionally from it, and for it not to remain in us as unreckoned debris (as the denial of pain that fuels horrors in the world), we are acknowledging perhaps the greatest miracle humans possess, one that requires activation of the best parts of us: the ability of our psyches as body, mind, and emotion to turn what is painful and despairing into more beauty and love. Perhaps if more of us had the tools and dedication to do this inner work, we would not be so disengaged from ourselves and the Earth, from the natural cycles of transformation through dark and light, and we would not have injured everything so badly to begin with.
This inner work begins by acknowledging, embracing, and allowing difficulty to change us. This change occurs mentally and intellectually as we learn the terrain of injury, healing, critical thinking and compassion. We harvest wisdom from our travails as our “hearts” are simultaneously changed at an ineffable, deep level, spawning compassion, empathy, and passionate awareness. We become comprehensively changed this way, one very different from primarily “changing our thoughts” and engaging in yet another attitude adjustment towards positivity, which are typically the shallow yet well-meaning prescriptions of the New Age, unilateral light-seeking enterprises that lack a heartfelt appreciation of the dark and its deep cleansing and ability to refigure our psyches.
We become the change we want to see in the world when we do more than muster gestures of compassion at will, which to be fair, is also a worthy and necessary effort. Yet, this venture usually fails when we become emotionally triggered during challenges that deeply affect us. When stressed and triggered, we find we have little resources with which to cope, and we bail through any number of justified escape routes invented to deny pain rather than embrace it and be changed by it. This is usually characterized by justification and neurotic ego-defensiveness. However, if we have done the deep, shadow work, however, we have more integration at this deep trigger level and can respond with our hard-won resources of more integrity and care. You can usually assess your own healing success when you are deeply triggered by how powerfully you are affected and how skillfully and level-headedly you navigate your reaction or response.
Before transformation, what we can be changed into is as unimaginable as the butterfly is to the caterpillar. This is why surrender into doing difficult shadow work is usually spawned intuitively—we sense this way into more comprehensive healing. Certainly, this is what happened for me. I was helped by having pursued just about every version of literal, dissociative light-seeking only to find myself after many years still unfulfilled and filled with emotional toxins. Body-centered emotional work became my cure. As hard as it was, it gave me what I felt and noticed was lacking.
Like myself at one time, I think that many don’t realize that there is a way to stay present through pain and challenge and turn it into beauty and grounded love. Doing so also prevents this pain from backlogging in our bodies and causing untold injury for years to come, injury that spreads into the world. Eventually we must unearth and deal with it if we want to live better. These resources can be learned, and at the heart of the process is learning to feel our feelings in our body and to work with them and allow them to work on us, while we deepen and learn and let our hearts break. This demarcates a grounded, embodied spiritual path. Denying it marks the beginning of ten-thousand problems. Such work is often most productive and effective with an experienced, somatically-oriented psychotherapist, though much work can be done on one’s own. And no, it’s not fun. So giving up the idea that everything has to be fun, ironically, becomes a prerequisite for having more fun. Besides, our sense of “fun” becomes redefined after the process anyway.
Indeed, we must break down in order to be rearranged in loving and wise order. The result of this process is akin to what we imagine our untainted selves to have been as children, before injury and conditioning began, before pain closed off our hearts and caused us to believe limiting untruths about ourselves and the world. To get back to this innocence and wholeness as adults, however, we can’t just think it so, or act as so, at will. We have to engage in a focused process to “clean out our hearts,” to dissolve the pain that has accumulated there. This is to acknowledge what neurobiology has discovered about memory and how our emotions are mediated and remembered in the brain and its extended nervous system throughout the body, the latter representing our unconscious.
To do this inner work is to return to the childhood parts of us in order to learn love in the face of what hurt us. All the Earth changes challenge this part of us now because they trigger our fear of death and taking away what we love and what loves us. In childhood we lost love because we simply did not get it in unconditional form, and we feared we would die if we differed with our parent’s expectations of us, and so settled for acting in the ways our parents would reward us with praise. Either way, we lost out on some juicy, genuine unconditional love because we had to stave off an unconscious fear of dying.
As children our fear of being abandoned and unable to provide for ourselves, and therefore literally dying, is understandable. Yet, when we carry this childhood fear of essential loss into adulthood, when we can provide for ourselves and not literally die, we begin to perpetuate neurotic fear—the fear that if we act according to our true sense of self (which we could not as children in order to survive) we will literally die. Indeed, providing for ourselves as adults can help us to separate childhood fears for literal survival from neurotic adult beliefs that we will literally die. Knowing this as adults helps us to stem our fear of literal death each time we are emotionally triggered.
As adults, the case most often is not that we will literally die but that we will figuratively die. This figurative death is the process of transformation, of enduring pain and loss wholeheartedly into new life and passion. It is the rite of passage into true adulthood, wherein, ironically, we reclaim our childhood innocence from the shrouds of unconscious emotional trauma and allow this vitality to fuel our adult passions and contributions to society. This way we die to our pain, in order to be re-birthed into an integrated, new light. We die (figuratively) in order to live . . . actually, here and now, in our bodies, with no need for a heaven or afterlife or other magical realms to assuage us.
A TASTE OF DEATH for MORE LIFE
Anytime we face losing something we get a little taste of death, of darkness, of the part of the fertility cycle that takes from us in order give us something new. This way of Nature occurs physically as well as emotionally in us in order to initiate us into an Earth-based, feminine and masculine-revering spirituality of death and rebirth. If we don’t have the knowledge and courage to allow transformation to happen in us, we are severely handicapped for the glory of being human. I think we all sense that some expression of light and positivity is the goal and purpose of our lives (i.e., “ultimate light”), yet we must get to this place both via literal light (trying to do good) and via embracing what is dark and allowing it to change us into beneficence.
I invite us to consider that looking for light when transformation (the Mother archetype) begs is an inappropriate honoring of the Father (transcendence). Transformation actually embraces both Yin and Yang, Mother and Father, surrender and intent, respectively, yet its foundation is primarily Feminine. The details of this process are too long for this essay, yet have been touched upon in previous paragraphs. It is, after all, the Mother we must embrace in order to become deeper Earth citizens.
By embracing and thereby engaging the psychological dark, fertile death process, we stand to become re-birthed in earnest, changed at our core rather than only superficially by willing ourselves to assume postures of morality. The transformational cycle through death and rebirth engenders a profound morality, as we learn intellectually and emotionally the terrain, causes, and cures for pain. When we live through and heal our own pain and what was done to us, we are fundamentally changed so as to not do it to others. The corollary to this, of course, is to act our pain on others when we have not reckoned with it in ourselves.
For those who might be reluctant to let go their ethereal ties, we also stand to become more “celestial” as the result of transformational death unto rebirth. Yet, this “celestial” experience is not lofty magical thinking; it is none other than enthusiasm, creative inspiration, vitality, and love in action as passionate, healing service—all of which are bolstered by becoming resurrected from the ashes of our pasts. This way we stand to become more present here and connected to our humanity and one another. To honor transformation for transcendence creates more love, more depth, more embracing of reality.
We can experience a feeling of unity with life through transcendence as well as through transformation. Yet if we want both Yin and Yang, and therefore more wholeness, we would be wise to honor the Father and the Mother archetypes, and to engage both simultaneously. This happens naturally through embodying our emotions and both skillfully and passionately working through them. We can check ourselves for escapism when we fear facing what is difficult. When there is no obvious way out of a predicament, we may engage the transcendent (Father) through prayer and surrender to a greater power, and whatever hope and motivation we derive is ideally channeled back into working through our embodied, material challenges. We can also be compassionate, nurturing, and accepting of ourselves when we need a break or hit a wall in our process.
When what we love is taken from us, we can grieve this loss, which is an antidote to magical, transcendent thinking. This assumes that ethereal, magical thinking is a coping mechanism for not feeling our difficult feelings and our backlogs of heartache. Most don’t like or want to grieve; magical ideas are easier and feel better. But loss is part of life and so is the natural response of grief. Yet, just like the subsidies doled out by our government for poisonous agricultural practices, the damage we do to ourselves and others is hidden when we choose to “rise above” instead of “move through” significant challenges.
Denying our humanness for lofty spiritual notions is called “spiritual bypassing.” In spiritual bypassing we try to deny (ignore and escape) difficult emotions and experiences by unilaterally attaching ourselves to panacea-like ideals such as “bliss is our natural state,” or “our thoughts are not who we truly are,” or “we weren’t meant to grieve for long periods.” Who made up these ideas that go against self-evident reality? What seems truer is that we are both light and dark, good and bad, pleasure and pain. Even the Buddhist noble truth of “everything is impermanent anyway” is used to bypass ho we feel about a situation and to get the most learning out of difficult situations.
ORGANIC FARMING & SPIRITUAL NUTRITION
When we subsidize unsustainable psycho-spiritual practices through spiritual bypassing for short-term gain we deny and toxify our bodies. This is because we largely ignore the ground of our bodies and authentic emotions, just as we do the Earth through cheap pesticide subsidies that hide the real cost of damage to the biosphere. On the other hand, when we grieve loss, we stay committed to reality, to our bodies, to our humanness, to one another; we invest in transformation, in the fertility cycle of dark birthing light, in an organic process (rather than numbing or distracting ourselves) of tending to our pain (analogous to dealing hands-on with weeds and pests) in order to cultivate more pleasure, beauty, and care. When we embrace “what is” we engage in the organic gardening of ours souls; we don’t sell out for the fake fertilizers and toxins of denial and immediate satisfaction, which is the model of producing lots of pretty looking food devoid of real nutrition, while poisoning the ground. We invest in our humanness and lives here rather than an imagination of some other world, even the short-term world of capitalistic plenty at the cost of a sustainable future.
For years I have been sharing a reverent honoring of the dark (Mother), in order to birth more grounded light (Father). With ordinary, fact-of-life loss and the increasing effects from climate change loss, we have a special opportunity to finally face and integrate our dark emotions that I think gave rise to this mess. Eventually, there will be no way to escape these escalating Earth changes and the healthy self-reckoning they present to us, except perhaps to dissociate even more from reality and repeating the same pattern many of us employed to avoid pain at different times in our lives. This is understandable, yet it is not enough because this denial has turned lethal to all life on the planet.
As mature adults concerned with this world and one another, and learning to love one another skillfully and creatively, we owe it to ourselves and to Nature to come back to our bodies, to our locked away pains, in order to heal what has caused us to escape and deny body, deny Earth, deny transformation, deny the way of Mother . . . which has caused Nature to threaten us . . . because we have denied our own nature . . . we, as men and women, have shunned our own feminine wisdom, as the way of transformation. And when we deny Mother, we inevitably deny the Father, the precious transcendent perfection so many imagine as the Divine, because what is Divinity if our bodies and environment are racked with pain and suffering?
Mother Earth changes give us the opportunity to face and embrace the dark, this way of transformation—to heal not only our personal wounds that caused us to leave our bodies, but to face the body of the Earth, as experientially analogous to our own, and its human-induced climate change illness as the reflection of what we have collectively denied inside us. Consider: climate change is the darkness descending upon us for the darkness we have denied personally, and especially the collective of policy-makers who enact the laws and regulations that would or could have turned so much chaos around. By denying the chaos of pain inside (darkness), we have together created a world that shows us where we went wrong. This wrong was exacerbated when we removed ourselves from an immediate, intimate relationship with the natural world and acted out our pain on a global scale through technology, capitalism, subjugation, and the power to justify wrong-doing, among other enterprises.
A denial of our inner lives is the denial of the Mother, of transformation, often for the unwise and inappropriate fear-fleeing into the comfort of an imagination of the Fatherly light, which comes in so many forms: religion, God in the sky, consumerism of the shiny and new, New-Age beliefs and magical thinking that honor light and transcendence over the dark and light ways of transformation, patriarchal exploitation, over-working and especially meaningless over-working, denialist positivism, and rampant capitalism. It is also seen in the way we grow food: progress with little to no sustainable replenishment, via the year-round planting of GMO crops with fake fertilizers, pesticides, and no fallow time—reflective of our imbalanced living physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
CLOSE TO HOME
We all stand now in the lap of transformation. In my hometown on the Big Island of Hawaii lava threatens to engulf our town and change the way we live for years to come. While this is not a climate change result, per se, it is a similar natural threat on par with climate change disasters. Many ask should we stay or should we go? And this is a tricky question! If we go, do we go away from caring for one another and our community? If we stay, are we being impractical and failing to exercise ordinary common sense?
In the bigger picture, as things get worse and more challenging on the planet, do we go or stay? If we can’t leave our immediate neighborhood, as many of us on the Big Island now contemplate, we can leave in the form of taking on more radical denialist beliefs and faux-spiritual ideals that essentially divorce us from being here.
So, what to do? I invite you to consider staying . . . staying with everything that comes up in you and showing up for your friends and community. And to do all you can practically, physically, and common-sensibly, which will help you emotionally and for a grounded spiritually. Embrace transformation, and do what you can to avoid unnecessary, unavoidable pain. Get genuinely busy inside and out, in mind and heart and body. Rest when you need to and cultivate a nourishing network of relationships and inner practices.
Surrender your fear of the dark. Unless you are faced with immediate terminal illness, surrender does not mean to give into literal death, but to figurative death. At the same time, surrender your ideas of having to face unnecessary pain and loss. Some of the lessons here are common sense, some cannot and should not be grasped and explained because they are process-oriented, inner changes. Get your act together and take steps to protect yourself, but don’t try to prevent yourself from emotional upheaval, which is the beginning of transformation. Let it happen and be wise through it by also curbing neurotic thinking and emotional overreactions.
There is nowhere to run, and in the coming years, with current climate change predictions, there will be fewer and fewer places to find outer refuge. So, we must work now to become inwardly more resilient, live more inwardly rich and outwardly simply. We must appropriately toughen up and soften, honoring Mother and Father both.
As the lava comes, as the hurricane comes, as the drought comes, as the floods come, as your own emotions surface, flood you, and whip you around, pay attention and embrace it all and let it work on you. Use the mind-body tools you hopefully have cultivated (the ones I alluded to earlier as those that help us transform pain into beauty such as psychotherapy, creativity, peer support, meditation, exercise, good nutrition, good sleep, etc.) to process and to minimize what is “overreaction” (mind getting carried away causing excess physiological response and emotional response, and then these emotions causing excess poor thinking, as a vicious cycle, as one example).
All this will allow us to love one another and to love the Earth more as things become more painful. And yes, love is all we have and all that endures. . . beautiful etheric love that bleeds from material reality. We are now, every day, ever-more in the belly of the Goddess. Take heart, take good mind, take refuge in what frankly is.
McPherson’s forthcoming book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.
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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.